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Swedish fighter jets grounded


File Photo - Even fighter jets like this American F-22 Raptor can be affected by the weather
File Photo - Even fighter jets like this American F-22 Raptor can be affected by the weather

Sana Ahmed, News writer

January 31, 2012 — An abnormally strong high pressure over parts of Sweden grounded about a dozen fighter jets on Tuesday.

High atmospheric conditions are usually considered to be ideal for pilots flying fighter jets. But that certainly wasn't the case in Sweden when an abnormally strong high pressure system ended up grounding a dozen or so Gripen fighter planes.

"A high pressure system usually means good visibility, dry conditions and calm winds, which is unlike a low pressure system where it's cloudy and rainy," explains Gina Ressler, a meteorologist at The Weather Network.

In the case of the Swedish planes, the pressure was so strong that it ended up tampering with the planes' systems. The instruments that help determine pressure readings started to read errors.

"In a high speed combat mission at low level, weather conditions could very well have played a role in the overall safety of the mission," notes Chris St. Clair, a weather presenter and certified pilot here at The Weather Network.

"We get the strongest high pressure during winter months in the Northern Hemisphere, mostly because of the stability offered by very cold and dense air masses," adds St. Clair.

Depending on what kind of maneuvers they were doing could have very well contribute to them being grounded, says St. Clair. The planes in question are some of the most modern aircrafts and highly reliant on technology for navigation purposes.

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